State Announces Funds To Protect Water Quality
Governor George E. Pataki today announced $6.7 million for 32 projects to help farmers protect the state’s soil and water resources from agricultural runoff. The funding is available through the New York State Agricultural Non-point Source Abatement and Control Program (ANSCAP) and includes $600,000 statewide for planning initiatives. The projects also will serve as the implementation arm of the Governor’s Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program.
Locally, Cortland, Schoharie and Tompkins Counties are recipients, Senator James L. Seward said today.
"Farmers are important partners in the stewardship of our land and natural resources," Governor Pataki said. "Much of the state’s farmland lies adjacent to significant water bodies and it is critical that we provide our farmers with the resources necessary to effectively protect our water quality and prevent pollution. I’m proud that this funding will provide our county soil and water conservation districts with needed funding to improve local agricultural operations and protect our environment for generations to come."
"This is terrific news for our local soil and water conservation districts, which are the unsung heroes of environmental protection," Senator James L. Seward said. "The funding will be a boost to local programs to manage run off and the environmental side effects of agricultural practices."
ANSCAP is a competitive grant program that is administered by the state Soil and Water Conservation Committee and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. It awards cost-share funding to county soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) to address water quality challenges facing farms around the state. Funding for ANSCAP is provided through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
Eligible ANSCAP projects include those that develop comprehensive nutrient management plans (CNMPs) or implement best management practices (BMPs) which could include technical assistance, runoff buffers and waste management systems for watershed protection.
New York Farm Bureau President John W. Lincoln said, "We commend Governor Pataki for his ongoing commitment to protect our lakes, rivers and streams--a mutual goal of New York’s farming community. These grants go a long way to help family farmers comply with environmental regulations and keep the public’s water supply safe and pure for future generations."
The Agricultural Environmental Management program serves as the planning and implementation arm of this grant program. AEM addresses non point source water pollution originating from farms through a voluntary, incentive-based program for developing and implementing management plans to comply with federal, State and local regulations relating to water quality and other environmental concerns. Currently, more than 9,000 farms participate in the AEM Program.
To date, Governor Pataki has dedicated more than $38 million to ANSCAP. In addition to ANSCAP, AEM participants are also eligible for other state, local and federal assistance to support their environmental stewardship efforts.
All eligible projects will be implemented by county SWCDs and will be operated and maintained by the farm owner. A list of area projects receiving funding is attached.
Cortland County SWCD $340,795.00
Implementation of BMPs on two farms in the Factory Brook and Grout Brook Watersheds to reduce potential sources of nutrients in the watersheds. BMPs include: a silage leachate control system and a manure storage system.
Schoharie County SWCD $351,012.80
Implementation of BMPs on eight farms in the Cobleskill Creek and Middle Schoharie Creek Watersheds to help control nutrient runoff from farmsteads and make crucial improvements to the water quality in the county. BMPs include: barnyard management systems, heavy use protection areas, fencing, access roads, animal trails and walkways, milkhouse waste treatment systems, roof runoff management systems and alternate water sources.
Schoharie County SWCD $62,150.00
Development of CNMPs on ten farms within the Cobleskill Creek, Middle Schoharie Creek, Little Schoharie Creek, and Fox Creek Watersheds to help reduce field erosion and pollutants from entering the watersheds. These plans will make recommendations for manure spreading, fertilizer application and crop rotation.
Schoharie County SWCD $24,860.00
Development of four CNMPs on farms within the Otsguago Creek and Canajoharie Creek Watersheds to reduce field erosion and decrease pollutants entering into the waterways. Plans will include manure spreading recommendations, fertilizer application recommendations, and a cropping rotation schedule.
Tompkins County SWCD $151,770.00
Implementation of BMPs on 23 livestock farms located in sub-watersheds of Cayuga Lake and Owasco Lake Inlet to manage intensive grazing systems. BMPs will remedy problems such as aquatic habitat loss, streambank erosion, and will in turn have positive effects on water quality.
Tompkins County SWCD $320,462.00
Implementation of BMPs on three farms in the Taughannock and Willow Creek Watersheds.
Through this project, two milkhouse waste collection systems; two silage leachate collection systems; one manure storage structure; two barnyard runoff management systems; and three heavy use area protection systems will be constructed on three dairy farms in the Taughannock and Willow Creek Watersheds. The anticipated environmental benefits from the implementation of the best management practices include improved drinking water quality, improved aquatic habitat, reduced nutrient loading and manure runoff from entering southern Cayuga Lake.